Europe clears Germany renewable energy law

The European Commission gave final approval to Germany’s law giving support to renewable energy sources, after the country made some tweaks to it.

The law aims to move Germany away from fossil fuels and nuclear power by giving subsidies to renewables.

The European Commission, which is the governing body for the European Union, cleared the law only after Germany agreed to give equal treatment to companies importing energy as those within the country in terms of subsidies.

Joaquín Almunia, the EU’s antitrust minister, said in a statement that the law “paves the way for more market integration of renewables.”

“In the medium term, this should lead to lower costs for consumers,” Almunia said. “Also the progressive opening up of tenders to operators located in other member states is a very positive development for the internal energy market.”

Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s energy and economics minister, told The Wall Street Journal that he welcomed the commission’s decision, saying it would enable Germany’s move away from high-carbon and nuclear energy sources.

“Companies in Germany are also being provided with the framework conditions to maintain our jobs and serve to strengthen industry in Europe,” Gabriel said.

The law takes effect Aug. 1. The commission estimated that the annual cost of supporting renewables would be about 20 billion euros ($26.9 billion).